“Face of Anonymous” suspect deported from Mexico to face US hacking charges

Security

Media in the San Francisco area are reporting the arrest of a notorious former resident who allegedly skipped bail on hacking charges…

…almost a decade ago.

Christopher Doyon, now 56, featured in a 2020 Canadian TV documentary titled The Face of Anonymous, described by IMDb as:

[A] timely portrait of 21st century activism [that] follows Commander X, an iconic and divisive figure in the “hacktivist” network who spends his days dodging authorities across North America while surfing the web and surviving the streets.

Doyon also published his own book, Behind the Mask, written while allegedly lying low from US authorities after getting himself across the border to Toronto in Canada.

The hacking group that wasn’t

Anonymous is perhaps best described as “a hacking group that wasn’t” – a moniker that could, and was, be claimed by almost anyone with an internet axe to grind.

The group’s followers adopted the use of Guido Fawkes masks (Guido Fawkes, also known as Guy Fawkes, was a consiprator in the so-called Gunpowder Plot to blow up the British Houses of Parliament in 1605), taken from the 1980s post-apocalytpic graphic novel V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd.

Left. Cover art of collected edition of V for Vendetta (1982 to 1989).
Right. So-called “Anons” sporting the V for Vendetta look (2008).

High-profile hacking activities attributed to Anonymous over the years, or claimed under its ambit, have included anti-Scientology protests and takedowns in the late 2000s; a takedown of PayPal in 2010 after the payment company suspended donations to Julian Assange and Wikileaks; and government website takedowns during the so-called “Arab Spring” of 2011.

Indeed, Anonymous, which is loosely speaking a group that anyone can join if they simply claim to be part of it, never entirely vanished after its heyday in the early 2010s.

Recent internet attacks claimed by Anons apparently include: a takedown of the Atlanta Police Department website after the US police shooting of Raynard Brooks in early 2020; the defacement of the UN website in 2020 to add a webpage for Taiwan, which does not have a seat in the UN; and a May 2020 “warning” to the Minneapolis Police Department after the killing of George Floyd.

Vendetta for the homeless

Christopher Doyon, who certainly didn’t keep his face anonymous for The Face of Anonymous documentary, apparently appeared in court in California in early 2012, charged with orchestating a denial-of-service attack in 2011 against the municipality of Santa Cruz, a coastal city in Northern California not far from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Doyon, who dubs himself Commander X, is said to have acted on behalf of a mysterious person known as Commander Adama who “wanted revenge for a homeless friend of his living in Santa Cruz, who was found dead under a bridge.” (Santa Cruz apparently has strict anti-homeless laws that criminalise rough sleeping and prevent the homeless from forming communities.)

After living in Toronto for some years, Doyon apparently decamped to Mexico, which is where his Twitter account still says he’s located [2021-06-15T12:00Z].

Screenshot of Twitter page taken 2021-06-15T12:00Z.

However, Doyon is now back in the US, arrested in Mexico City at the end of last week and extradited to the US on 12 June 2021.

Looks like those denial-of-service charges have caught up with him at last.


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